BCR's Daily Fishwrap Report for October 1, 2009: The DPD overtime edition
BCR's Daily Fishwrap Report for October 2, 2009

Anotherthyme closes after almost three decades; new restaurant to take its place?

News of transition in downtown's dining scene: Anotherthyme, a fixture of the Brightleaf Square district downtown for almost three decades, closed its doors last night after a long history of one of Durham's best-regarded restaurants.

Ten years before Magnolia Grill opened its doors, and two decades before Four Square arrived, and long before anyone thought Durham was the foodiest anything, anywhere, Mary Bacon's Anotherthyme was one of the first restaurants to really make an imprint on Durham's dining scene.

From the history section of their web site:

In 1982, Durham and the rest of us was coming of age. Mary started Anotherthyme in a quaint older building near the downtown area of the city. What was to become a bustling retail center at Brightleaf Square had only recently been transformed from empty and decaying tobacco warehouses. At last, downtown Durham was casting off its rags as the ugly stepsister of the Triangle. It was on its way to becoming the bustling center of community and cultural events that all vital cities must be to thrive. Anotherthyme not only thrived and developed with the Triangle, but was an integral part of the success of the area. 

With a philosophy of food that is based on rethinking seafood and vegetarian dishes as not being secondary to the meat and potatoes thing, Mary has spent years developing foods that are full of flavor and visual appeal without being dependent on a kitchen full of beef and chicken stock, heavy cream sauces or animal fats. As sensible as this may seem today, in 1972, when people dined in a good restaurant, it generally meant steak or fried seafood--remember, those were the days of "Surf & Turf."

Bacon answered the phone at Anotherthyme on Thursday night and confirmed the closure of the restaurant. The building had been sold, she said, telling BCR that the site would reopen as a restaurant in the near future.

According to deed records online, the building was sold (today) to one Fenwick Properties LLC. The registered agent who formed the LLC -- registered just two weeks ago -- is one Mike Sholtz, who appears to be an '88 grad of Duke Law and of counsel to the university.

If the name Sholtz sounds familiar, it may be because one Jason Sholtz is the co-owner of James Joyce... and one Alivia Sholtz is the reputed namesake of Anotherthyme's southern neighbor of the same name. BCR doesn't know if there's a relationship, but it'd be a heck of a coincidence, now-dontcha-think? Update: Jason and Alivia are both children of Mike Sholtz, a reader helpful writes in to say.

(H/T to Eat at Joe's for the tip.)

Comments

Geoff Green

Shame. Went there on my first date with my wife-to-be back in 1994; went back again with her late last year, for the second time, after moving back to the area. ;(

RestaurantZoom

Best of luck Mary and to the Sholtz team from all of us at RestaurantZoom.com . One door closes and a new one opens:-)

Dan Aced

As the last bartender and senior staff member over the last two years, I have been grateful for the opportunity to see Durham through the eyes of Anotherthyme. Thank you for the memories and the support.
Peace and Love -

- dan aced

M

I also went there on a first date with my wife-to-be in 1998 and we finally went back this spring.

Liz Ananat

Went there for my very first meal in Durham, when I came to interview for my job--my employers-to-be thought Anotherthyme exemplified the high-quality but low-key lifestyle that Durham had to offer. I agreed, and was hooked on the city.

The many great "foodie" restaurants we have today stand on the shoulders of this giant. It will be remembered gratefully!

Dan Clever

A sad day- my wife and I went there frequently before we had our kid. We loved the AT Chicken, the bar, and the fact that you could carry a conversation without yelling. I hope the new owners will retain some of those.

Cathy Clabby

Ms. Bacon and her staff cooked up (and poured) many a good memory for myself, my family and my friends. Best wishes to all of them.

Ellen C

Some of us remember "Somethyme", which I always assumed was also Mary's child. It was on Broad Street, approximately where Cup-a-Joe is now. It was a favorite lunch destination of the Duke Music Department crowd at a time when the only other locations close to East Campus were The Student Prince and Kentucky Fried Chicken (both in what is now the Whole Foods shopping center). My husband and I ate at Anotherthyme last year and commented on how the menu & ambience still were so right. Good luck to Mary, and thanks for many happy food memories!

Joseph F

Ellen,
I believe Somethyme was somehow the parent of both Anotherthyme and Pyewacket in CH. Vague memories of all sorts of new things being tried, both in and out of the Kitchen.
And for former places near East, don't forget the wondeful Ivy Room and that late night, only after much imbibing standby, Steak and Eggs!

Phil

Somethyme, Anotherthyme, Pyewacket. Now all three are gone. I'm grateful for their long history and many delicious, healthy and innovative meals. They were the places I knew I could always go for something Good. Best wishes to the Anotherthyme family for future success in whatever they do with themselves.

Lee

Please tell me we're not getting another Irish Pub.

Mike Woodard

To Mary and all who worked at AT over the years:

Thanks for all the great food and all the great memories.

What will I do without the Tofu Tahini dressing, the best in the world?

Mike Woodard

Eric W

Anotherthyme was the regal queen of an earlier generation of restaurants at this end of town that not only included Somethyme, but also (as noted) the Ivy Room, the Cosmo Room, the (original) Subway, and Anna Maria's--all wonderful places to eat, talk, and soak up Durham.

Samantha E.

Anotherthyme was the location of so many treasured memories, of wonderful meals with good friends and visitors to Durham. And every single person I've ever taken there agreed that the raspberry cocotte was one of the best desserts on the planet. So sad that Anotherthyme has closed its doors.

kristiep

here's to hoping that the people that own the james joyce and aliva's can bring something really good to that AT spot and make it as good as anotherthyme used to be back in the day. AND, they need to make it more worth while than aliva's.

E

This makes me so sad. This was "our spot" for a former girlfriend and I. We ate there many, many times to celebrate good times. Oh for the AT fried chicken and a glass of the Jeckell Riesling from Australia.

Sunny Daye

UNC frosh year, my dorm RA took some of us to the original Pyewacket. From my naive, WASPy meat, potatoes and green vegetable background, I was unprepared for the earthiness of that original store.

Later, Pyewacket went upscale across the street and I was better able to appreciate its offerings.

I recall the semi-early days of Somethyme while venturing over to uber-adventurous Durham, lots of natural wimmin running things, wimmin's music performances (Ruth someone), friends working there (and hearing lots of ribald stories of the anything goes afterhours--and before hours--employee bonding).

Then Somethyme morphed into Seventh Street and a bit more gentility in the offerings. A great place for first dates (except for some of the rude at worst, indifferent at best waitstaff).

Some of that service found its way to AT, but mostly it was just...elsewhere.

My faves: the build-your-own salad and the (what was it called?) the MBT (?)--Mary Bacon's own special, signature sandwich (after it left the Pyewacket and AT menu one could still ask for it and receive it).

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